The House of The Dead Remake Review

Initial release date: (Nintendo Switch) April 7, 2022, (Other Platforms) April 28, 2022

Developer: MegaPixel Studio

Publishers: Forever Entertainment S. A., Maximum Games

Platform: Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, STEAM, Stadia

Genres: Shooter game, Light gun

"Review Copy Provided By Forever Entertainment For Nintendo Switch & Xbox One"

Before the FPS craze of the 2000s, there was the arcade shooter craze of the 90s and that genre had A LOT of heavy hitters from Virtua Cop, Point Blank, Lethal Enforcer, Time Crisis, and The House of The Dead. The House of the Dead was such a smash hit in the arcades that it spawned sequel after sequel as well as several spin-offs such as the much-praised Typing of the Dead for the Sega Dreamcast. The series has seen several releases on numerous platforms from the Sega Saturn all the way to current generation consoles with its return in the form of a remake called The House of the Dead Remake for Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, Google Stadia, and PC. Outside of a 2018 arcade shooter titled The House of the Dead: Scarlett Dawn, the series has been relatively dormant for the better part of a decade with the last release being The Typing of the Dead: Overkill for Steam. Is the Remake any good and will it be the game to spark the return of the arcade rail shooter? Let’s find out in this review!

The story of THODR is the same as the original with it focusing on biochemist and geneticist Dr. Curien and his unethical experiments which lead to an unholy outbreak of the undead and supernatural at the Curien Mansion. We see AMS Agent Thomas Rogan and his partner “G” receiving a distress call from his fiancée’ Sophie Richards about the outbreak happening in Europe. Rogan and G head to the mysterious Curien Mansion to put a stop to the vile machinations of Dr. Curien and the evil that has been unleased.

So the thing everyone wants to know is how does this remake play given how the original was heavily built around a light gun; well…’s certainly “functional” with a controller albeit that’s not the most ideal way to play it. The Nintendo Switch version allows you to utilize the Joy-cons to simulate the feeling of using a light gun, however, that functionality is a massive miss and often times incredibly highly inaccurate when it comes to trying to aim and shoot and is frustrating to me that it made me just give up even bothering. There’s another controller option that’s available to those who are playing this on the Switch or PS4 which allows you to utilize the gyro functionality of those platforms controllers although that also is not a great option either so…..yeah, just stick with the standard controller to play this game.

With standard controls, you aim with the left stick will shooting with the right trigger and reloading with the left trigger and……that’s about it. There’s a flashlight you can toggle off and on, but it doesn’t really serve much of a purpose for the overall gameplay.

There are 4 stages for you to go through which will have you on rails going through the level mowing down all manner of foul creature from zombies, demon dogs, bloated big boys, Freddy Krueger knock offs, and more. Each level will have a few several branching paths to go along depending on actions you take such as if you save the researcher about to be thrown off the bridge in the first level or the trap door on the floor at the beginning of the second level. These alternate paths ultimately will end up in the same ending area of a stage and are fun detours that allow you to rack up more points to add to your score along with allowing you to find more hidden breakable boxes that have score multipliers.

Along your way through each stage (save for the final stage) are researchers that you can save from the monsters which can result in you gaining health and aiding in your getting one of the several endings of the game. It can be tricky saving these researchers as you will often have mere seconds to kill the undead that is trying to kill them and also avoid shooting them yourself. Each of the first 3 stages takes not of how many researchers you end up saving so try to do your best and save as many as you can.

Graphically speaking, the game looks decent for what it is which is a budget remake title similar in vein to Forever Entertainment’s previous outing of remaking Panzer Dragoon. It doesn’t compare to any game released in the last 5 or so years yet it doesn’t look terrible either. Environments are adequately detailed although there are occasional closeups that show incredibly low levels of details. The monsters look fine and animate fairly well and the main characters of Rogan and G look fine, just not more than that.

The performance across platforms is similar to an extent with the PC, PS4/5, and Xbox One/Series X|S performing incredibly well with no slow down or performance issues all the while running at a smooth 60fps at 1080p *or higher if you are on PC). The Nintendo Switch version runs about the same at a variable 60fps yet dips lower when a lot is going on during action heavy segments which causes it to also have frame rate dips and performance stalling in both docked and handheld modes. The Nintendo Switch version also offers a Performance Mode which tries to lock the game at 60fps yet it still dips below that. I also noticed the Switch version has longer loading times in comparison to the other versions when it comes to starting a new game or completing a stage. Other oddities I noticed in the Nintendo Switch version were that it would also have textures not fully loaded and would have constant instances of texture pop in, this isn’t anything that would prevent you from enjoying the game its just something that is an oddity given how this game should in no way tax the Switch’s resources in the least.

The lack of any semblance of online features really hurt this game as it truly could’ve used some online coop functionality if not even an online leader board or something, anything. That being left out along with how you can literally beat this game in 30 minutes has me feeling like any lasting appeal for this game is a nostalgic novelty at best.

So, the question now is “is The House of the Dead Remake worth it?” and should you buy it? Well that truly depends on you as if you are a series fan then you may find yourself enjoying this even with its lack of features. If you are not a nostalgic gamer and have no history with this series then between the frustrating controls, lack of online, and lack of replay value all make this not a game worth you time or if you do have some curiosity with it then wait for a sale and get it then. Was a remake of this game truly worth it or needed? Honestly, I don’t really find an issue with the remake being done I just feel it should’ve had much more substance than what it does have and maybe some more care put into it.

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